Wyclef Jean's tweeting for Haiti galvanizes Web

1:06 PM, Jan 13, 2010   |    comments
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Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti can call 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225, set up by the U.S. Department of State. Due to heavy volume, some callers may receive a recording.

 

"Our embassy is still in the early stages of contacting American citizens through our Warden Network," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. "Communications are very difficult within Haiti at this time."

 

To help with relief efforts, text "HAITI" to "90999" and $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross, charged to your cell phone bill.

 

The FBI has already received complaints of fraud, so officials suggest sticking with established organizations like the American Red Cross, AmeriCares and Doctors Without Borders. E-mail users should not respond to or click on links in unsolicited messages.

 

You can double-check on donations by visiting web sites like The Foundation Center or Charity Navigator to ensure your money is going where it is needed.

 

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wyclef Jean is one of Haiti's most famous sons, and his tweeting about the earthquake there has been a galvanizing force on the Web.

Jean is most famously a member of the now-defunct Fugees. Publicist Leslie Chasky says he arrived Wednesday in Haiti and is focusing on his family, his Haitian charity and responding to the disaster.

Follow Wyclef Jean on Twitter

Several of the most popular topics on Twitter referred to a tweet from the singer urging people to send a text to his Haitian charity, Yele, to donate $5 to the savaged country. The number is 501501.

Twitter was covered with retweets of the message Wednesday. Hundreds are passing his message on by the minute, and it appeared the Web site for Yele had crashed under the traffic. A spokeswoman for the organization isn't immediately commenting.

Others on Twitter also passed around a number to text to donate $10 to the Red Cross. That number is 90999.

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(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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